Remember the moment – can it really have been only yesterday? – when David Cameron said the following:
“I own no shares. I have a salary as prime minister and I have some savings, which I get some interest from and I have a house, which we used to live in, which we now let out while we are living in Downing Street and that’s all I have.”
That was in relation to his father Ian’s tax avoidance company Blairmore, based in Panama. But what about Jersey-based Close International Equity Growth Fund, in which Cameron Sr was a director and of which he held 6,000 shares? Those assets were reportedly left to his family after his death in 2010 – and isn’t David Cameron his son?
David Cameron is facing further questions over his links to offshore investment funds, after it emerged that his late father was involved in a second company based in a tax haven.
Labour accused the Prime Minister of failing to “put the record straight” despite four statements in the space of three days.
Channel 4 News reported that Ian Cameron was a director of Jersey-based Close International Equity Growth Fund and held 6,000 of its shares. His assets were reportedly left to his family following his death in 2010.
Downing Street has said that the Prime Minister, his wife or his children do not stand to benefit from offshore funds or trusts in the future.
The denial is the latest of a series of statements issued by No 10 in the wake of the Panama Papers revelation that David Cameron’s father ran an offshore investment fund called Blairmore Holdings in the Bahamas, which never paid UK tax.
Asked specifically about the Jersey off-shore fund, a spokesman for No 10 said: “On the subject of the PM’s finances, we have nothing to add to the statements already issued.”
Furthermore, it seems Mr Cameron (Jr) has been a bit naughty in making sure the names of people who benefit from such organisations can remain hidden:
David Cameron personally intervened in 2013 to weaken an EU drive to reveal the beneficiaries of trusts, creating a possible loophole that other European nations warned could be exploited by tax evaders.
The disclosure of the prime minister’s resistance to opening up trusts to full scrutiny comes as he faces intense pressure to make clear whether his family stands to benefit from offshore assets linked to his late father.
he wrote in November 2013 to Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council at the time, to argue that trusts widely used for inheritance planning in Britain should win special treatment in an EU law to tackle money laundering.
In the letter, seen by the Financial Times, Mr Cameron said: “It is clearly important we recognise the important differences between companies and trusts. This means that the solution for addressing the potential misuse of companies, such as central public registries, may well not be appropriate generally.”
Note that Cameron personally intervened to ensure that beneficiaries could remain nameless.
Now he’s saying that, even though his father ran two tax avoidance organisations, he isn’t seeing a penny from it – perhaps because he knows it can’t be proved?
In the light of these latest revelations, his position is becoming more precarious by the minute – not just regarding tax avoidance, but as prime minister of the UK.
Oh, and remember Mr Cameron’s wife, Samantha? It was also stated that her assets include only “a small number of shares connected to her father’s land, which she declares on her tax return”.
That’s all very well, but…
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